Active Southern West Virginia strives to improve the health of all southern West Virginians by increasing opportunities for active lifestyles.

Founded in 2014, with support from the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, we work with residents, businesses, schools, and local governments to develop community programs that create a culture of exercise in the region.  Drawing from evidence-based interventions and the West Virginia Physical Activity Plan, with the advisory assistance of Richmond Sports Backers as a proven model, we have taken an asset focused approach that encourages and supports the local populations in creating their own means of increasing physical activity. By transforming West Virginia into a more physically active, healthier community, we improve individual’s lives –reversing the alarming rates of heart disease, diabetes, and shortened life expectancy that our state faces. Further, we experience the ripple effect of building a stronger community and economy by strengthening the health of the workforce. 

A happy and healthy community will attract visitors, new businesses and jobs.


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1. Community Captains

Wellness is a personal matter, and we hope to make those personal decisions easier for community members by increasing their options to join groups they’re most comfortable with. Coworkers, neighbors, classmates, and family are often those who can provide the support and motivation people need to get moving and stay active. Community Captains will motivate and lead their neighbors and friends in living an active and healthy lifestyle.


3. Bike / Walk  SWV

We understand that without proper community infrastructure, active lifestyles are difficult to maintain. We’ll be advocating for safe streets and improvements to other public places so that walkers, runners, and bikers have a safe environment in which to exercise outdoors. These improvements can include protected bike lanes, fitness trails and connected neighborhoods.


5. Events

Active SWV provides high quality, unique sporting events to the residents of West Virginia and tourists at an economic fee in order to sustain the organizations free community programs. Volunteers are always needed to ensure the best participant experience and provide a way to be active through volunteering. The two signature events are the Active SWV Family Triathlon and the Active SWV Bridge Day 5K.


2. Kids Run Clubs

Our youngest community members are not only the key to our future, but also the ones who create fresh, fun, new ideas about how to get active. They need safe, accessible places to play and confidence that their ideas are being heard. That’s why we will work with the region’s youth to create and establish effective exercise activities as well as  promoting overall healthy habits.  


4. Workplace Wellness

Many people spend a significant portion of their lives at work, which is why it is imperative that work sites implement evidence-based environmental changes and policy updates that enable employees to choose healthy behaviors at work. Active SWV provides technical assistance to work sites that want to make these positive changes for their employees. This program is supported by the members of the New River Gorge Regional Health Alliance that seek to collaborate across county lines to improve the health of the region.